Friday, August 03, 2012

Back to School: It's My First Day of Kindergarten! by Haewon Yum

"Mom, Wake up!!! It's my first day of Kindergarten!"

This rising Kindergartner is rising, all right, very early, before the alarm clock even has a chance to begin his first day in big kid school. But it's not the boy who's worried.

It's Mom. Mom is shown in reduced size, done mostly in a dreary monotone blue to show her mood. She's anxious and a bit sad. After all. she's never been a Kindergarten mom before. She doesn't know what to expect.

Her son, however, is totally on top of it all. He instructs her how to make and pack his snack and double-checks his school supplies. He's already dressed in his first-day outfit and looks tall and knowledgeable, with things well in hand, as Mom continues to fret.

"Oh, dear, look at the time. We'll be late!!"

"Don't worry, Mom. We can run!"

But tiny, pallid Mom is still worried.

"Will you be all okay at big kids's school? You're still so little!"

"MOM! I'm already FIVE!"

In Hyewon Yum's latest, Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! (Farrar, Straus Giroux, 2012), it's a bit of a role reversal, as Mom is the insecure scholar's-mom-to-be, and her son is all competence and knowledge as he navigates the routine of first day registration, a device which helps Kindergarten newbies with a case of the first-day willies hear how their fears sound from the other side. "I've been waiting for this all summer!" says our novice learner, and Mom, now full-sized and filled with confident readiness herself, waves a cheery "Bye-bye" from the doorway, as her big boy is obviously on his way!

Kirkus Reviews declares "Yum has perfectly captured the emotional ups and downs of both parent and child in a visually expressive work."



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